NEW ORLEANS -- An NOPD communications dispatcher who dedicated her life to helping others is on life support. In a tragic twist of fate, Paulette Brown was critically injured by a suspected drunk driver.
'You have to be able to think fast on your feet,' said Phyllisia Hills' about her mom's work as a dispatcher for the city.
Cautious and always warning others to be careful is what Paulette Brown did best. The NOPD dispatcher spent 32-years working for the city, answering other people's calls for help.
Until Saturday night, when the tables turned.
'She was hit head on. They rushed her to university and she suffered a lot of head trauma,' said Hills.
According to an Orleans Parish Traffic Court report obtained by Eyewitness News, 28-year-old Andrew Merchant was driving a jeep eastbound on I-610 against oncoming traffic. The report says Brown's Toyota Camry ended up in the line of fire.
Court documents show merchant was slurring, red eyed and agreed to give blood.
Brown's family says she was headed to the Orleans Parish Communications District for her regular shift.
'On Sunday, late Sunday evening, they pronounced her dead because of the drunk driver,' said Hills.
On Tuesday night, an Eyewitness News crew stopped by Merchant's address filed in public court records. He bonded out of jail after being charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, violation of one-way traffic and driving on a roadway laned for traffic.
A man fitting his description drove by in a pick-up truck several times but refused to stop. He repeatedly attempted to cover his head with a hoodie.
'She just had a conversation with me, less then a month ago about being an organ donor,' said Brown's son, Kenneth Crawford.
The New Orleans East woman's two kids never imagined that talk would turn into what has become their nightmarish-reality.
'Her liver, her heart, her lungs, her eyes and they're trying to see about her kidneys,' said Crawford of his mother's organ donations.
The 51-year-old remains on life support until her organs can be harvested. It's a testament, loved ones say, to her unwavering desire to give back.
'Help other people in their time of need. Because if she needed help, she would want someone to help her,' said Hills.
A memorial fund to help pay for funeral costs has been set up at any Capital One Branch in Paulette Brown's name.
Meanwhile, Merchant posted a $7,000 bond on Monday. The NOPD says he could face additional charges.